Common Causes of Aggression in Dogs: Important Notice for Owners

Do you have an aggressive dog at home? Then, you should handle it as soon as possible. A dog shows aggression by growling and even trying to bite. It can also suddenly happen, read more about sudden aggression in dogs.

However, don’t be panic once you notice that your dog shows aggressive behavior. The key of handling the behavior is identifying it quickly, especially the root cause of the aggression.

How to tell that a dog is aggressive? There are some signs an aggressive dog may exhibit, such as stiff body posture, growling, baring teeth, snarling, ears pinned back and different intensity of bites.

As a dog parent, it is very important to know what causes dog aggression. By knowing the causes of dog aggression, you may be able to find the best options for correcting his behavior. Without waiting any longer, let’s see some common causes of aggression in dogs.

  • Illness or sickness

A dog may be aggressive once he experiences some illnesses or diseases. If your dog loves to go around with his furry friends, but suddenly becomes quick-tempered and lashes out, then he may suffer from a serious medical problem. Your dog may show any signs, such as growling, snapping or biting.

If you suspect illness in your dog, bring your dog immediately to the vet. By identifying the illnesses earlier, you may prevent it from getting worse.

  • Fear

A fearful dog may also develop aggressive behavior. Most dogs only show aggressive behavior if they sense any danger, cannot escape and feel the need to defend themselves.

For instance, when your dog is backed into a corner and has no way out, or if he thinks a hand raised over his head means he is going to get hit.

If your dog is a rescue dog, he may also exhibit aggressive or fearful behavior more than normal. He may have been abused, neglected, or experienced a traumatic event. You can contact the organization where you adopted the dog, so that you could find the best way to handle the situation.

Read about how dog regains confidence after trauma and ways to make your newly adopted dog feel comfortable, especially if you have an adopted dog at home.

  • Being possessive

A dog may be possessive of something, such as toys, food or some other objects of value. A dog may exhibit possession aggression by growling at someone who approaches his food bowl or get too close while he is chewing his favorite toy.

An aggressive dog also may suddenly bite a stranger who steps into your house, which is the dog’s territory. Also read more about methods to stop dog aggression towards people so you won’t get bitten.

  • Frustration

When a dog is frustrated, he can also show some signs of aggression. The dog may also get frustrated at not being able to get something. This commonly happens when the dogs spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash or behind a chain-link fence.

The restrained dog usually barks and growls more fiercely as the frustration grows. When the owner approaches the dog, he may also redirect its frustration and bite the owner.

If you suspect your dog to have frustration aggression, be careful. You may misinterpret it. The key is always rule out a health issue or fear first before you assume the reason for your aggressive behavior. If you interpret it wrongly, it can even make the problem worse.

Signs that your dog is depressed will also help you determine the ways to solve the problem.

  • Dominance

Dogs are pack animals, so that they have a highly evolved hierarchy among themselves. If they meet new dogs, they might show “social aggression” as they try to figure out the new hierarchy. However, don’t worry as this case usually passes quickly.

  • Anxiety

A lot of changes in homes may also lead a dog to have aggression. When dogs feel anxious, they can be very even-tempered. There are some things that may lead to anxiety aggression, such as things like a move, a new baby or even a new pet. If you suspect any anxiety aggression in your dog, then you should contact your vet about anxiety-reducing supplements.

After looking at the causes of aggression in dogs, hopefully all of them help you to determine the best ways to treat and correct your dog’s behavior.

Working with aggressive dog may be challenging and difficult, but you are not supposed to discard them easily. You can also contact your vet for further ways of treatment and discuss the best way to overcome this situation.